A 13-year-old boy who stole his father’s credit card and blew more than $140,000 in online gambling said “it was far too easy” to get away with.
The teenager, from Lancashire in England, said he saw an advertisement for a betting site while watching a soccer game at London’s Wembley Stadium, prompting him to create an account under his parent’s identity.
After taking a few snapshots of his father’s credit card, he began placing hundreds of bets a week on soccer matches and horse races – with some stakes more than $5000, according to News Corp.
It was not until his parents received a call from the bank six months later that they learned of his deceit.
After confronting him, the teenager admitted to losing $35,000 and was sent for psychotherapy.
“I had no idea that gambling could be an addiction like smoking, drinking or drugs. It seemed like fun and I thought I would make money too,” he told The Mirror.
“It was just far too easy. I just had to put in dad’s name, address, date of birth and card details and checked a box saying I was 18 — it took literally seconds to register and start gambling.”
Thinking that was the end of the problem, the UK family moved on with their lives but several months later, the boy blew more than $106,000 in a week-long gambling binge.
Fast forward two years and his devastated parents are still paying off his debts, even taking out loans to do so.
They said they will never be able to trust him again but are sharing his story to warn others of the dangers of online gambling.